Dogs have been close human companions for millennia and one would expect—according to the continuity hypothesis of dreaming—that dogs are also quite common in dreams. Previous studies showed that the percentages of dreams that include dogs range from about 1.5% to 5%, but studies relating waking-life experiences with dogs with dreams about dogs have not been carried out. In total, 1695 persons (960 women, 735 men) completed an online survey that included questions about dreams and waking-life experiences that included dogs. The findings indicate that dogs show up, on average, in about 5% of remembered dreams, but this percentage is much higher in the dreams of dog owners and persons with close contacts with dogs. Moreover, the active time spent with a dog and the proximity during sleep is also related to a higher percentage of dreams that include dogs. Although dreams including dogs are on average more positively toned than dreams in general, about 11% of the dog dreams included threatening dogs. Persons who had negative experiences with dogs in their waking lives reported more threatening dog dreams. The results support the continuity hypothesis and it would be very interesting to conduct content analytic studies with dream samples obtained from dog owners to learn more about the variety of interactions between dreamers and dogs.
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